Harnessing the Suspense: Falling Skies ‘Young Bloods’ in Review
By Jamie Krakover
Falling Skies’ ‘Young Bloods’ featured one of the most thrilling openings of the show yet, with Matt Mason on his sidewinder being tracked by multiple Skitters, which have their heads blown off by the Berserkers at the last minute.
While on patrol Ben and Hal get their bikes stolen. We learn that Ben has increased hearing in addition to his host of other emerging abilities. He really is turning into an amazing super-human, which is also a bit disturbing. Is there anything he can’t do? They track their bikes to a teen hang out, and the two oldest Mason boys miraculously manage to get fifteen unsupervised kids to stand down. They really are true budding leaders. They offer them food and spare parts for their bikes, escorting a few back to camp.
The awkward exchanges between Anne and Tom continue. He presents her with her favorite snack from the past, and their time together suddenly warps into something really cute as they gaze into each other’s eyes and kiss. It’s about time this one sorted itself out.
Matt is having fun with the Berserkers, but Tom has issues with them using his son as Skitter bait. Tom is rightfully angry, and the tension is mounting between not only Tom and the Berserkers but also Tom and his youngest. Poor Matt wants to join the fight but he’s still just a little too young. Tom is rightfully upset that Matt could have been killed and he wasn’t being smart. But in a sharp bit of defiance from little Matt, he snaps back to his father that “neither was getting on an alien ship.” What has happened to sweet innocent Matt Mason? Here’s hoping his anger towards his father and zest for the fight don’t lead him to do something stupid.
In a huge surprise twist, we discover that one of the independent teens is Weaver’s missing daughter, Janie. This could make things really interesting as more of a family element is added to the show. Weaver is sure to act very differently now that his daughter is involved, leading to more conservative decisions from him in the future which could in turn affect the 2nd Mass.
Hal and Diego, the leader of the teen group, share intel and they talk Charleston. These kids could be a great addition to the 2nd Mass. Diego also informs Lourdes that most of Northern Mexico was destroyed. She unfortunately had family there, so it sounds like she may be completely alone now and the 2nd Mass is all she has left. After seeing her so upset, we have to wonder if she isn’t at risk for bad things to happen to her, even if Jamil tried to restore some of her hope.
As Hal, Diego and company return to their hangout, they discover that the Skitters have attacked. Unfortunately the aliens have more harness bait. It twists the gut to see more kids taken by the Skitters. Diego knows where the Skitters are and wants to go in right away but Weaver wants to have a plan and starts grilling Ben about the harness process for intel. Weaver errs on the side of caution and responsibility trying to plot it all out. Things between Weaver and Diego heat up, and Diego storms off saying he doesn’t need Weaver’s permission to rescue his people. Janie sides with her boyfriend, Diego, and throws Weaver’s divorce with her mom in his face, unfortunately ending the happy family reunion. This decision leaves a bad taste in the mouth, especially after Diego fills the final spot on his team with Matt Mason. Things from here have the potential to go very badly.
As the 2nd Mass prepares to move out on the harness facility, Tom tells Ben he doesn’t have to come, but unsurprisingly he doesn’t want to be left behind. In addition, Tector volunteers to help make things right, increasing his likeability. When Tom and Weaver learn that Diego and his team left with Matt, things explode and worry and suspense hit an all time high.
And in by far the scariest scene of the evening, we find Janie and Matt strapped to Skitter tables next to some harnessed teens. As a harness slides toward another boy and attaches itself we get our first look at how the whole process works, and it’s far more gruesome than expected. Nerves are on high as we plead for the 2nd Mass to get there in time to save our favorite kids. As Matt is inches from having a harness attached to his back, Tom saves him, and we all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Thank goodness we didn’t have to watch more kids get lost to Skitter harnesses; one was bad enough.
As things seemingly calm down, Ben places his hand on the tank containing the harnesses and his spikes light up again. Looks like Redeye isn’t the only thing he can communicate with. And again we are left wondering what went on during the exchange. Is it possible that the Skitters are using the harnessed teens to rise up against the two legged aliens? As they are leaving the harness facility, the 2nd Mass doesn’t take any chances and fires on all the remaining harnesses, but not before one starts to latch onto Weaver’s leg. Let’s hope this doesn’t have a bad effect on him. We already have to worry about Tom!
Anne doctors Weaver up with a bandage and some antibiotics and then he and Janie have a touching heart to heart. Weaver realizes although being there for the 2nd Mass, he’s let his own flesh and blood down and vows to make it up to her. Again there are more possible hints that Weaver’s leading tactics may change. Unfortunately Diego and his crew don’t want to join the 2nd Mass, thinking they have a better chance on their own. We can’t help but worry about their fate in the future or if we will see them again. And if you weren’t crying by the end of Weaver and Janie’s exchange you probably were at least choked up by him giving her his compass. (That thing is making the rounds lately!)
The final emotional twist was the note Janie left for her father saying she wasn’t coming with the 2nd Mass. This leaves us wondering how all this is really going to affect Weaver, knowing his daughter is out there somewhere and possibly in harm’s way.
Hal and Ben have their umpteenth heated exchange when Hal confronts Ben about his glowing spikes. Ben’s way of dealing with it is to lie and ignore the issue. Hal wants to help and Ben should let him, but unfortunately Ben pushes him away. Hopefully this isn’t the start of Ben pulling away from the group. Ben is far better off with the 2nd Mass, assuming he isn’t being used as a Skitter agent.
The episode ends rather serenely with piano music playing over a montage of the characters heading to bed. Even Matt seems to have made up with his father, curling up with him. So there you have it, Falling Skies fans – one of the most exciting and heart-pounding episodes to date. What did you think of the higher stakes? And what do you think is going on with Ben? Let’s take out some harnesses and talk Falling Skies.